Raekwon Revisits Story of How 'The Purple Tape' Was Originally Meant to Be Green

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Image via Getty/Steven Ferdman

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is the crown jewel of Raekwon's discography. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, The Chef sat down with Packer Shoes to talk about the classic album.

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is commonly known as The Purple Tape because the cassette was a vivid purple. Yet during his conversation with Packer, Raekwon explained how The Purple Tape almost didn't come to fruition.

"Back in the day as kids, when we did our little thing, we always tried to put some kind of packaging to let you know, yo, this is where you get it from. So that was my thing for the album packaging," Raekwon said. "But guess what? My favorite color wasn’t purple at that time. My favorite color was army green, camo green. I always liked rugged colors and all of that. This album didn’t sound like anything else out there. Me and Ghost was working hard to really get it to that level, and when it got there, I was like, I wanna package it green! It’s gonna be green!"

Raekwon and Ghostface Killah fought to make the cassette green. But, the manufacturer didn't have green, forcing Raekwon to make a game-time decision.

"I’m still in the color mode and vibin' according to what I feel is gonna be it, but they only had four colors to choose from. There was the clear one, the yellow one, the red one and the purple one," he explained. "I chose the purple, because purple represents royalty. It didn’t come off on some girly-style purple. It came off on official fly lavender purple! You know what I mean?"

This isn't the first time Raekwon has mentioned the mix-up. During a conversation with Complex in 2013, Raekwon also explained the origins of The Purple Tape.

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